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DC Movie Treatments

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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:47 am

Ah. Much like how I came up with the concept of Jaws 5: Venice and discussed it on Facebook before Sharks in Venice ever came out. That was the PERFECT STORY, and they ruined it.

I mean, I don't have a particular interest in fan fiction, although I do work on comic scripts/outlines for established characters. But it's like Tucker Stone said: "You think DC makes the best Batman comics? No, they make the ONLY Batman comics." Just like Michel Fiffe's Deathzone was a better Suicide Squad comic than anything in the current volume of the legit title, it's hard for me to even consider independent takes on work for hire characters to be fan fiction in the same way that a Harry Potter or Twilight or GoT story would be.

So yeah, I guess I have some sympathy towards authors whose work is subject to fan stories if it actually intrudes on the original work. But for the most part, that seems a rare occurrence. I'm still on the side of letting the nerds have their fun.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby beastovjudgement » Thu Nov 07, 2013 1:08 am

Years ago, I wrote a story in which a team of has-been superheroes (non-established) tried to regain relevance by publicity stunts, and then tried to go big-time by tackling a group of major villains, who the has-beens thought were overrated and propped up by the media. The villains easily destroyed the hero team on national television, and it led to a huge amount of chaos and mayhem among the superpowered community. I wrote this on and off, over the course of a year or two. Then, Civil War came out, and I gave up. My story was fundamentally different, especially in that the main point of view was the villain team's second-in-command. But, this very similar element was such a major part of my story I could not think of a way to redo it and maintain the rest of the story.

I think, with work-for-hire characters, it is generally fair game, and I agree the likes of Marvel and DC should continue to back off. If they didn't go after Image for their rip-offs (and Todd McFarlane never went after Marvel for Nightwatch), they probably should not have problems with fan depictions of their characters.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:11 am

Eh, to each his own. Personally, as long as it's not violating any sort of legality, I see nothing wrong with fan fiction. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't gonna get AD in trouble here. Yeah, a lot of fanfic is absolute crap. I'm not going to dispute there. But there's a lot of decent stuff too, and, personally, I love seeing "where the fans would take it", so to speak. As a writer, I can't help but think - after I watch something godawful like Green Lantern - how much better it could be. So I come up with my own versions. I'm not saying that they're better (although I'm pretty sure that general fandom would be pretty happy with a GL that focused more on Hal and space than Carol and kissin'), just that, hey, it was fun to write these things, and I wanted to share them. So long as it's legal, we don't have any problems.

I'm thinking of the specific instance Beast mentioned, actually. I can't recall the author either, but I know the story well.

I'm certainly making no attempt to intrude on the original work here, or tarnish anyone's fond memories of Green Lantern. I'm a fan. I'm a screenwriter - seriously, I just booked a paid job doing a polish on a romantic comedy script. This sort of thing is just what I do.

And if I'm tarnishing your opinion of the Green Lantern movie, GOOD. It could have been SO much better. SO. MUCH. BETTER. "Duhhhh, hey Hal, doesn't the hero always get thuh girl?" "Oh, totes brah. Lemme fly over there in my weird skin suit, herpy-derp." F*** that movie.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby beastovjudgement » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:23 am

I didn't watch Green Lantern; I was interested right up until I saw the previews. I have little doubt your script is superior. The discussion got a bit sidetracked, but, no, I am pretty sure there is nothing legally objectionable about posting your plot ideas here.

There have been many times I have read terrible stories or watched awful movies starring established comic heroes, and thought how much better it could be in the hands of a talented writer, or myself, (or, in some cases, a drug-addled lemur). The only aspect of fan fiction to which I object is the appropriation of characters under the sole jurisdiction of a single writer. These fictions come across as both presumptuous and too lazy to create original characters.
"The bestial screams, a life devoted - to the occult.
The flickering lights, my dream came true.
And now I'm dead.
Find me, take me. To the void, to the crooked nest, to Nekrohaven."
Satyricon, "Nekrohaven"
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:25 am

secondwhiteline wrote:I think the best response I can give is that, even as the board's resident Lantern Hatah, I really enjoyed both of these. Some great imagery (the floating, deactivated Manhunters in Part 2 really stands out), and some nice moments of actual complexity and vulnerability from Hal that go beyond the usual grief for his father - I was reminded a bit of Cooke's portrayal of him in The New Frontier. That fight with Sinestro was a particularly interesting take on him; his reactions just aren't the toolbox Hal I'm used to, and that's a good thing.

I also enjoy that the off-world stuff doesn't always take place in a soundstage representing Space. The more weird bars and marketplaces we can get in sci-fi movies, the better.

The villain switchup in the first one is surprising, but necessary - Atrocitus really can't anchor a whole movie by himself. My only concern is that the Cadmus appearance/alien autopsy come a bit out of left field and aren't really followed up on. I think it'd probably work better if Atrocitus said or did something in battle to set off Sinestro, and Sinestro killed him or just wrecked up the scene without concern for bystanders. Maybe that's a bit cliché, though. I just think that if Cadmus is going to make so significant an appearance, it's got to be a story element (probably trying to track down Hal and figure out what the GLs are, something like that) rather than just a hint at the future.

The second is a rad war story, but man, the budget for that one...Granted, if the first movie's a hit, studios are more amenable to a big-budget sequel.


Hey, thanks! Glad you enjoyed 'em, man! Remembering some of our GL discussions from the Matty board, that's pretty cool.

Yup, Cooke's portrayal of Hal certainly went in here. So did Chris Meloni's version from First Flight, and the more beaten down Hal from his days as The Spectre. Sure, he's still a little bit Captain Kirk, but I hate when the action hero - not being played by Tom Cruise - just smirks his way through everything. And, for the record, that floating Manhunters business is my favorite thing in these scripts. Well, that and the rain of power rings on Oa - but First Flight did that, too.

And I really wanted space to feel more "Lived In" and less like a massive void. I mean, yeah, space. Void by nature. But with all these alien species, and one guy suddenly realizing that we're not alone? Space needs to feel like a big Metropolitan area, which would help the whole cop movie feel - at least in the first one.

Yeah, the Cadmus stuff was shoehorned in when a buddy read it and suggested that I should add stuff to build a DC Cinematic Universe "just like Marvel". So I went with Cadmus, since they're easy to add innocuously. Personally, I'd rather have Abin Sur stay buried. Initially, Sinestro actually didn't show up on Earth until the finale - he takes the Power Battery after Hal reports his behavior to the Guardians, and they toss him out of the Corps. Sort of like the bent cop attacking the good cop's family as an act of revenge. I actually think that works better, and yeah, the Cadmus stuff does seem a little awkward.

And, hey, since the likelihood of these getting made is pretty low, I went balls-out nuts on the sequel. It's got a huge budget for sure (all those Manhunters...) but it's my dream Green Lantern movie, so what the heck? I mean, if a miracle happens, I'd be willing to cut down on the combat scenes, but for now? Nah...MORE MANHUNTERS!
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby secondwhiteline » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:38 am

Agreed. If you're gonna do a cop movie, you do a cop movie, and any crime/cop/noir film needs scummy hangouts populated with weirdos. And Star Wars understood how much you need that on-the-street perspective in a space-centric movie, and even the prequels understood it, despite their complete inability to show the effects of the war that was supposedly raging all that time.

I should really watch First Flight at some point. It seems to be closer to what I'm looking for in a GL story than most of the comics have been. I don't think I'll ever totally make peace with the concept, but FF sounds like it was done pretty well. And I like Meloni.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:53 am

beastovjudgement wrote:I didn't watch Green Lantern; I was interested right up until I saw the previews. I have little doubt your script is superior. The discussion got a bit sidetracked, but, no, I am pretty sure there is nothing legally objectionable about posting your plot ideas here.

There have been many times I have read terrible stories or watched awful movies starring established comic heroes, and thought how much better it could be in the hands of a talented writer, or myself, (or, in some cases, a drug-addled lemur). The only aspect of fan fiction to which I object is the appropriation of characters under the sole jurisdiction of a single writer. These fictions come across as both presumptuous and too lazy to create original characters.


You didn't miss much. Unless you count the giant cloud of diarrhea with Kurgen's voice coming out of it as cool.

For the record, a drug-addled opossum (it was meth and speed, mixed) wrote the most recent Ghost Rider film, so you're not far off on that one. In some cases. And, while I see nothing wrong with writers having fun with characters they love, I can understand where you're coming from.

secondwhiteline wrote:Agreed. If you're gonna do a cop movie, you do a cop movie, and any crime/cop/noir film needs scummy hangouts populated with weirdos. And Star Wars understood how much you need that on-the-street perspective in a space-centric movie, and even the prequels understood it, despite their complete inability to show the effects of the war that was supposedly raging all that time.

I should really watch First Flight at some point. It seems to be closer to what I'm looking for in a GL story than most of the comics have been. I don't think I'll ever totally make peace with the concept, but FF sounds like it was done pretty well. And I like Meloni.


Really, the quality of the DC DTV animated projects is pretty high, and you can find most of 'em for cheap, either through Netflix or for a couple bucks at Big Lots. First Flight is easily the best Green Lantern film in existence, as far as I'm concerned. And, yeah, it's cool to hear Stabler's voice coming out of Hal.

See, I can't really describe my vision for the planets that well in treatments, but I'd love for most of space to have that seedy, urban feel. Heck, I'd even like Oa to look well-aged. I HATE the way it looks in modern comics and the film especially. To me, it should look like Oz's Emerald City, only hundreds of years old - since, y'know, the Guardians have been around forever. Heck, even in the second film, the planets they visit would look like war-torn Europe - lots of ruins, wide open landscapes, close-knit towns where the populace hides behind covered windows. To me, that just makes space feel accessible - and that's kind of key to getting the audience in there, and not just making them feel like they're watching some kid play the latest PS4 megahit or whatever.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Crazy Jetty » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:57 pm

Being a creator and aspiring writer myself, i generally refuse to read fanfiction.
Its of no disrespect for the writers, or of the "genre," but more to that i don't want to inadvertently taint my own thought processes. I don't want to channel something i read five years down the line, forgetting that it wasn't my own idea. Though i do support fanfic writers, and encourage them to cut their teeth and learn to write the best stories they can. So, oddly enough, its out of respect that i wont read their work, except if asked to help resolve issues.
I know for a fact that most professional creators are contractually forbidden from reading fanfiction, so that the law is automatically on their side if some fan tries to sue them for plagiarism if something they write is similar to someone's fanfic.
James Gurney (creator of Dinotopia) is exceptionally honest and open about this, while at the same time, polite and encouraging of fan creators. People who've submitted stories to him, or talked about ideas in letters always say that he always sends a kind letter back that he's not allowed to read them for the reasons i mentioned earlier, but thanks them for their enthusiasm, support, and love, and to keep writing.
On a personal note, writing fanfiction and/or professional fiction for pre-established characters has little interest to me. I myself am more vested in wanting to tell my own stories, and build my own worlds.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby Caleb » Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:32 pm

That's a legitimate viewpoint, I guess, although I'm a bit curious as to why you avoid reading JUST fanfiction to avoid tainting your thought process and channeling someone else's work years down the line. I used to be in a writers' group with a guy who said that, and it really begs the question - why read at all? If you're worried about taking ideas that aren't your own, wouldn't it be best to forego any foray into the creative world, such as novels, movies, and even music? I'm a writer as well, obviously. And as long as you put your own spin on your writing and inject enough of your own voice, those are YOUR ideas.

Unless you're blatantly pilfering, but most writers don't do this.

I posted this thread seeking feedback on my work, and to share it. For fun. Not for profit, not to attempt to get noticed by DC/WB (jokes aside). For fun. To share my work with people who care about the stuff I care about. If you're not going to read it, that's cool. But when this thread turns into "Why I don't fanfic", that's not very fun.
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Re: DC Movie Treatments

Postby AcidDragon » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:20 pm

Caleb wrote:Oh, and AD, I should have something to zap to you later this week. Been on a rushed schedule with the honeymoon impending and all that.


Cool, looking forward to it. Have fun on your honeymoon!! :batwink: I read through the first treatment, you did a great job. I liked the interactions Hal has with the individual Lanterns giving them more personality than "the chicken looking guy", etc.
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